Texas A&M hurdler leaps over finish line, secures first place after landing flat on his face
Infinite Tucker, a junior from Long Island, became an overnight sensation after footage from Saturday's remarkable finish made rounds of social media.
A Texas A&M athlete somehow managed to place first in a 400-meter hurdles race at the 2019 SEC Track & Field Championships by leaping across the finish line and landing flat on his face.
The junior from Long Island, endearingly known as Infinite Tucker, became an overnight sensation after footage from Saturday's event capturing his stunning finish made rounds of social media, Daily Mail reports.
Tucker was firmly holding the lead after the final hurdle, but teammate Robert Grant caught up just a few steps later. Tucker leaped forward and extended his arms as the two approached the finish line, barely scraping the first place. Tucker had finished second in the same race two years ago in 2017.
Speaking to ESPN after the event, Tucker said, "Look, I closed my eyes over hurdle 10. I opened it, saw my ma at the finish, and I jumped to give her a hug. That's all it is."
While Tucker broke his fall with his hands, his face and chest absorbed the majority of the impact. The athlete appeared to be okay during interviews after the race.
Just moments after the race was over, Grant kneeled beside Tucker to check if he was okay before training staff rushed to tend to him. Nonetheless, Infinite Tucker made the best collegiate mark of the year with a record time of 49.38.
Aggies coach Pat Henry had reportedly spoken to Tucker before the race, warning him not to leap over the finish line.
"I've told Tucker you can't get there faster diving, just run through and you'll be fine," Henry told the school's website. "He thought he was a swim team guy today."
Later, Tucker played down his milestone accomplishment.
"Honestly, I'm glad I got the win and competed against the best," he said. "Me and my teammates all worked hard for this, and I came out with the win. I'm happy and thankful for that. The mindset was to score as many points as possible, we wanted to go 1-2-3-4. It really didn't matter which one of us won first place, we knew if we gave it our all we would be happy with each other."